Isle of Larus Paperback – 30 Jun 2013
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Top customer reviews
The author obviously doesn't take herself seriously, her humour is mild, ridiculous and laugh out loud stuff. I loved it.
For a first attempt, Kathy Sharp has hit the mark, there's nothing to dislike, she writes well, tells the tale with a laconic grin and doesn't expect the reader to take it too seriously either.
In all, a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to put a smile on their face and enjoys a thoroughly entertaining few hours reading.
Yet I was intrigued. It was the title, I suppose. It gave away little, almost nothing. But like a carefully structured newspaper headline it drew me in.
Was I glad. The narrative is captivating; the episodes, adventures and challenges are eccentric, daft, barmy; so ridiculous it's impossible not to spontaneously break out into bouts of mirth and delight. It's a non-medical remedy for depression.
Sharp is a fluent wordsmith. There is wit, charm and beauty in her writing. She knows exactly how to manipulate our senses.
Grudgingly I closed the book. On the one hand pining for more, on the other a wonderful "feel good" sensation.
There's a book in everyone who has the drive, tenacity and commitment to put words on paper. With Kathy Sharp I hope Isle of Larus is just the first.
The four guardians are Rissa, who forecasts the weather; blind Rufus who communes with the sea (‘People had been wondering quietly for quite a while if all his wits were collected in the same crab pot.’); Pontius the priest who finds guidance from the Spirit in the Sky sometimes, but not often (‘The Reverend would have fallen on his knees to thank the Spirit of the Sky for this positive response, if he had thought anybody was listening’); and Castello, the Captain of Artillery who has no memory of how he came to the island.
And there’s a cast of amusing walk-on characters, too, not least the mysterious Mother Culver who sticks in her nose too…
The delight is in the characterisation and their interaction. Told from an omniscient point of view, we learn of the thoughts and past of some characters, often with tongue in cheek.
There are a few moral points to make along the way; and some amusing ones too. As Mother Culver stated, ‘The people of this isle have a great failing… They forget the past. They let it slip away, and do not learn from it, and so they are never prepared for the future.’ She’s good at interpreting old prophecies. Which seem to be coming true. Which will greatly affect the islander’s future. Some of the surprise revelations are worthy of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.
Kathy Sharp maintains the amusement, the little mysteries, up to the end. If you like to read a tale with a smile on your face, you couldn’t do better than set your feet and mind upon the Isle of Larus.
So we have them, the four guardians of this island, which has a habit of disappearing. We are treated to their several antics in an endearing, light hearted manner, which uncovers their traits of character. As the author states, nobody is quite real, or quite unreal, really. Which makes this tale all the more charming.
The little white boats which appear and disappear in a most strange fashion may also be considered not quite real, and they occupy the minds of the islanders, with unexpected consequences which are not my place to reveal.
But I will mention the Rev's misgivings about Mother Culver putting stories into people's heads, then he admits that planting ideas is what he does every Sunday, and asks himself if there is really any difference, if the intention is good?
And the influence of wind, which runs off with most of the detail, has been brought home to me - and the consequences when it stops, and the cries of the gulls become closer. Lovely passage, that.
A charming fairy tale for adults, ideal for blowing away the cobwebs of complicated life, and soothing stressful brows.
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